I had this comment on KTG-blog the other day asking me ‘why Greeks do not pay taxes as the rest of Europeans’. It was a comment under the post with the title “Surprised? 50% of self-employed do not pay social security contributions to OAEE “. The question could also be “why Greeks do not pay social contributions?” But the main substance of questions of this kind is “No wonder Greece is bankrupt if people do not pay taxes and social contributions and what ever it is need from the part of the citizen.” This is a false assumption based on partly false messages Greek governments have been sending to the world since 2010, that is the year Greece sought the aid of international lenders, the Troika.
This wrong message seems to have really settled in the minds of the foreigners ever since the Greek governments and the Greek Finance Ministry is under pressure to collect money and has implemented a series of inhumane and is tax- and social contributions measures that drive crazy every low- or medium incomer in this country. The imposed taxation system taxes those without income, drains the pockets and devastates the souls of the poor devils suffering after 6 years of recession and 4 years of strict austerity.
The official message sent by the Greek officials has been: “Greeks do not pay taxes and that’s why the country has huge debt.”
But the reality youy will hardly hear about from official lips is the responsibility of all these public officials, politicians, ministers, unionists in public sector and state-run enterprises included, and everyone who got in contact with the state, who looted the public money, pouring thousands if not millions of euros in their own pockets.
Yes, many of the much-to-many insurance and supplementary funds existing in such a small country are on the verge of bankruptcy and huge holes are been registered in every control. But why? One reason is that they lost millions of euro during the “haircut” in March 2012. They had invested their capital in Greek bonds and saw their money go down by 54% after the Greek bonds swap. A second reason is the looting of these funds by sneaky fraudsters who falsely claimed pensions of dead relatives and disabled benefits and allowances – for years, if not decades. A third reason is that the supplementary pensions were not handed out according to the beneficiary’s contributions but they were kind of subsidized by the state. In certain case of sector’s pension funds, even up to 80%.
Politicians and unionists of public sector went hand in hand for many years. The trade was “money and benefits” against “silence and peaceful labor atmosphere”.
The following news is indicative for such cases:
Insurance fund for staff of Ionian and Popular Bank: 12 pensioners had paid a total of €184,000 for supplementary pension. I suppose, each pensioner had paid €15,000-16,000. What did they get back from insurance fund TAPILTAT as supplementary pension? A total of €1,167,000 ! I suppose each received roughly €98,000!
The looting came out when the banks were acquired by other banks and control checks were done.
Now unionists of other banks decided to dissolve the TAPILTAT.
I know civil servants who used to get €1,300 net salary but received €1,100 pension even if the pension was cut because they went in early retirement with 25 years of work. How much would the full pension would be after 35 years of work? More than the salary?
Or an early retiree (25 years of work) from the National Bank of Greece who gets €2,300 pension. How much would the full pension would be after 35 years of work? €3,500? €4,000?
In contrast: in private sector an early retirement can send you home with 400-500 euro per month….
Maybe this is a good example to demonstrate why some Greeks do not and cannot pay taxes and social contributions, as the rest is still taking all.